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Nature of principal strains

  1. Feb 10, 2012 #1
    Are principal strains necessarily tensile/compressive or can they be shear strains also? And are the principal strain planes parallel to principal stress planes at a point?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 10, 2012 #2

    boneh3ad

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    By definition, principle stresses are normal in nature and not shear and are normal to the principal planes.
     
  4. Feb 11, 2012 #3
    I thought by definition principal strains were just the maximum strains at a point and the fact that they are normal to principal planes is not so obvious. My textbook even has a formal derivation just to prove that the principal strains are orthogonal.
     
  5. Feb 11, 2012 #4

    boneh3ad

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    The idea is that in any compatible stress/strain field, you can find a coordinate system in which the only stresses are normal. These stresses are the principal stresses and are orthogonal. By definition, then, they are tensile rather than shear in nature.
     
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